This Just In: A Tech Review of PoodLL

Description

PoodLL is a plugin for Moodle designed to add functionality for audio types of learning.

Core Features/Functionality

I’ve been diving into PoodLL Anywhere for a few short weeks. It’s always interesting to see how some of these Moodle plugins help solve pedagogical use-cases and instructor’s needs. And this is the case with PoodLL — a plugin soon to be released with the Moodle 2.8 upgrade here at NC State.

For any language instructor, for example, part of the challenge when using an LMS for a language course (hybrid or online)  is finding online tools for incorporating individual spoken practice and assessment. This is an integral portion within any language classroom environment. Instructors want to be able to have their students record audio for any activity within Moodle.

PoodLL is plugin for Moodle designed to add functionality for audio types of learning. PoodLL can be used within a Moodle Assignment or an instructor can also add a PoodLL recording wherever the Moodle HTML editor is available.

It is easy to assign these functionalities directly to any Moodle assignment. An instructor can also add an online text or file upload requirement along with the recording. In addition, there is the ability to configure the assignment so that an instructor can include a PoodLL recording in their feedback to the student (instead of typing written feedback).

When an instructor decides to pair PoodLL within a Moodle assignment they select from a PoodLL recording type drop-down menu–i.e. audio recording.

The ability to configure the Moodle Assignment to include a PoodLL recording within the instructor’s feedback to the student is probably its best feature. This reduces the time it might take to type out feedback or for those instances when written feedback is not able to be conveyed in a manner that is easily understandable.

PoodLL’s HTML5 functionality is something else that makes this a much better improvement from the previously used Java-based Nanagong plugin. Why? Performance and usability.

As a HTML5-based plugin, PoodLL brings an end of the Java browser plug-in that added a layer of complication previous with Nanogong — installing Java, making certain the latest version of Java is installed, etc. Additionally, what this means is that rich media (i.e. audio) that were formerly handled by the browser-based Java plug-in are all built-in. This provides the ability for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) to be used as well.

Predicted Areas of User Difficulty/Concern

This is a very simple, easy feature to set within Moodle. And I see no predicted areas of user difficulty.

Tool Tips: Things to Remember

Here are a few things I found to keep in mind when using PoodLL:

  • When you choose Audio recorder, you will have to “Allow” access to your microphone.

  • Check to make sure that the black bar along the bottom of the recorder changes to green as your volume changes.

  • The controls are straightforward: choose Record to start recording & Stop to end the recording. You can preview your recording with the Play button.

  • When you’re done recording, click on Save Changes. Your recording will save & upload the file.

  • In the next window, you should see a playback controller next to the section “Online PoodLL” within the page.

External Resources/Documentation

There is not much documentation on PoodLL. You can learn a little bit more about PoodLL here: http://www.poodll.com

ISS Training & Support Resources

There are no training or support resources that are currently available. However, there are some support resources that are under development for this Moodle 2.8 feature. Stay tuned.